Encore - Veil of Virga Over Great Salt Lake
April 15, 2017
Today and every Saturday Earth Science Picture of the Day invites you to rediscover favorites from the past. Saturday posts feature an EPOD that was chosen by viewers like you in our monthly Viewers' Choice polls. Join us as we look back at these intriguing and captivating images.
The photo above showing a veil of virga over the Great Salt Lake, was taken from Bountiful, Utah on July 8, 2011. Virga is precipitation that mostly evaporates before reaching the surface. The Sun on this early July day was setting beyond Great Salt Lake, coloring monsoon-generated clouds. In midsummer, but usually a bit later than when this photo was captured, a high-pressure zone sets up over the Four Corners area (New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah) pumping moisture northward. This is referred to as monsoon weather. Clouds tend to build during the heating of the day, fomenting weather that can range from very dangerous flashfloods to the less troubling virga wisps shown here. If the moisture-bearing clouds are hefty enough, however, rain can fall at any time of day or night, and post-midnight thunderstorms are not uncommon.